Turns out that, once you get beat badly by Google, you start to get really open. Nice.
Basically BOSS (bad name, great tool) means that, with a minimal contingency of programmers, you can get a completely custom search running, and apparently you can even manipulate the rankings algorithm. Currently Yahoo is running it without requiring ads or anything. Exciting.
What a great way for a big conservative company to innovate — just let hackers go to town on your fancy database and algorithms. I can't wait to see what comes out of it.